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Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008

INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

Corrosion Detection in Concrete Structure by Using


3D Boundary Element Inverse Analysis

Syarizal Fonnaa, Safuadia, M. Ridhab , and A. K. Ariffina


a
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
National University of Malaysia
b
Department of Mechanical, University of Syiah Kuala
Banda Aceh, Indonesia

ABSTRACT

The early detection of the corrosion of reinforced concrete structure is very important to
prevent a severe damage of failure such as the collapse of buildings and bridges. The
diagnosing of reinforced concrete corrosion structure using conventional technique such
as potential mapping technique has been extensively used in the field. However, the
method still has limitation that is less accuracy, laborious and time-consuming. This
study is conducted on inverse analysis boundary element method to detect the corrosion
location of the steels in concrete structure from some potential data, which are measured
on the concrete surface. In this method, the potential in the concrete domain was
modeled by Laplace’s equation. The inverse problem is carried out by means of
minimizing a cost function. The cost function is a function of difference between the
calculated and measured potentials on the concrete surface. The calculated values of
potential are obtained by solving the Laplace’s equation using boundary element method
(BEM). Several potential values on concrete surface were applied to detect corrosion
location by using 3D boundary element inverse analysis.

Keywords: Inverse analysis, corrosion, BEM, cost function, reinforced concrete


Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008
INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

INTRODUCTION

Corrosion of the reinforcement steel used in concrete leads to formation of rust. As the
steel corrodes, the volume of the rust also increases and at one stage the force induced
by the corrosion products may exceed the tensile strength of the concrete and because of
this, cracking of concrete will occur. These corrosion products would exert enormous
stress on the surrounding concrete promoting the deterioration of concrete structures.
Hence, it is important to detect corrosion of the steels in concrete structure since the
corrosion of steels in concrete is a major cause of premature deteriorations and failures
of the reinforced concrete structures. Also it is important to maintain a long life of the
structures and reduce the cost of maintenances 1-2).
Corrosion of steel in concrete reduces the life and durability of concrete structures. It
is a worldwide problem, which causes heavy losses to the economy and industry. The
corrosion of steel is inevitable. The durability of concrete structures primarily depends
on the condition of the embedded steel in concrete, apart from any deterioration that the
concrete may undergo. To determine the condition of the embedded steel, potential
surveys are carried out on concrete structures and this is one of the most important
monitoring techniques. The potential on the concrete surface is usually used to predict or
evaluate the corrosion on the steel surface in concrete structure, such as haft-cell
potential mapping technique 3-4). The half-cell potential mapping has been used widely
for evaluating and monitoring the reinforced concrete corrosion. Most of these
measurements in the field are manually carried out and the data obtained are analyzed.
Automation is the best solution where repeated measurements have to be made. This
eliminates the human errors in the measurement and improves the accuracy of the data
measured from humanly inaccessible regions of a structure 5).
The purpose of this study is to apply the boundary element inverse analysis for
identification corrosion location of steel in concrete structure. The inverse problem is
carried out by means of minimizing a cost function. The cost function is a function of
difference between the calculated and measured potentials on the concrete surface.

BASIC THEORIES

Electrochemical Aspect of Steel Corrosion


During the electrochemical corrosion process, several anodic (oxidation) and cathodic
(reduction) reactions occur simultaneously on the steel surface. Iron is oxidized to the
ferrous state at the anode, releasing electrons.

Fe → Fe 2+ + 2e (1)

At the cathode, these electrons combine with oxygen and moisture to form hydroxide
ions.

1
O 2 + H 2 O + 2e → 2OH − (2)
2

An electric current flow occurs due to the above reactions. The rate of corrosion is
determined by the current flowing between anodic and cathodic areas on steel surface 6).
Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008
INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

The total corrosion rate is the self-corrosion rate plus the galvanic corrosion rate. The
self-corrosion rate can be neglected since it is generally much lower than the galvanic
corrosion rate.
The corrosion rate is proportional to the density of current across the surface of an
anode, so the analysis of corrosion problem can be reduced to computing the electro-
galvanic field due to multiple anodic/cathodic interactions.

POTENTIAL MEASUREMENT TECHNIQUE

In the potential measurement technique, an electrical contact is made with the


reinforcement steel and a voltage reading is obtained with respect to a RE (reference
electrode) over the concrete surface using a portable sensing device as established. The
principle involved in this method is the appearance of an electrical potential between the
reinforcing steel and a reference electrode, named half-cell. The potential obtained is
analyzed to determine whether the steel is corroding or not. Potential survey can be
carried out at different nodal points and measurement can be done in more number of
points. Correct potential mapping will enable reliable information about the condition of
reinforcement beneath to be obtained. This type of survey can primarily indicate whether
or not the steel embedded in a structure is corroding and the areas where corrosion
activity is greatest. The schematic of half-cell potential mapping can be seen in Figure 1.

MATHEMATICAL MODEL

Concrete is referred to as homogeneous. The potential at boundary point can be obtained


by solving the boundary integral equation. Figure (1) shows the basic equation and
boundary conditions used in the study. The coexistence of cathode and corroding area
(anode) on the forms of galvanic corrosion model. The galvanic corrosion rate is
proportional to the current density that flows across the surface of the anode. Because of
this, the analysis of corrosion problems can be reduced to computing only the electro-
galvanic field due to multiple anodic/ cathodic interactions.
The entire surface of the electrolyte domain is indicated by Γ ≡ Γ1 + Γ2 + Γ3a + Γ3c .
The given values of the potential and current density are respectively indicated by φ o
and i0 . The Γ1 and Γ2 are essential condition and natural condition, respectively. And
finally f a and f c are nonlinear functions representing the experimentally determined
polarization curves for the anode and the cathode, respectively.
Considering that there is no accumulation or loss of ions in the electrolyte domain,
the potential field in the concrete domain (Ω) can be modeled mathematically by the
Laplace's equation 7-10):

∂ 2φ ∂ 2φ ∂ 2φ
∇ 2φ = + + =0 in Ω (3)
∂x 2 ∂y 2 ∂z 2

The fundamental solutions for Equation (3) are given by:


Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008
INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

1
φ* = for 3D case (4)
4πr

where φ is unknown potential at any point and φ* is known fundamental solution at any
point.
The density of current across the boundaries, which will be denoted by i, is given by

∂φ
i = −κ (5)
∂n
where κ is the conductivity of the concrete, i is the current density across the boundary,
and ∂φ is the outward normal derivative. The boundary conditions associated with
∂n
Equation (3) are written as;

φ = φ0 on Γ1 (6)
i = io on Γ2 (7)
φ = − f a (i ) on Γ3a (8)
φ = − f c (i ) on Γ3c (9)

The well-known ‘Greens Second Identity’, Equation (10), is used to move the
problem from within the domain to its boundary.

⎛ ∂φ * * ∂φ ⎞
∫Ω (φ∇ φ − φ ∇ φ )dΩ = ∫Γ ⎜⎜⎝φ ∂n − φ ∂n ⎟⎟⎠dΓ
2 * * 2
(10)


where n is unit outward normal and is derivative in the direction of normal.
∂n
Equation (10) shows the advantage of the boundary element method that reduction the
problem dimension by one.
The standard boundary element procedures lead to:

⎧φ s ⎫ ⎧ io ⎫
⎪ ⎪
κ [H ]⎨ − f (i a ) ⎬ − [G ]⎪⎨ i a ⎪
⎬ = 0 (11)
⎪ − f (i ) ⎪ ⎪i ⎪
⎩ c ⎭ ⎩ c ⎭

where the detail expression of matrices [H] and [G] are given in references 7), and the
subscripts s, a, c and m represent the quantities on Γ2, Γ3a and Γ3c, respectively. The
system of non-linear algebraic equation in Equation (11) can be solved by the iterative
procedures, e.g. the Newton-Raphson method. An experimental verification of the
boundary element solution is shown in reference 8). If the boundary conditions in
Equations (6) to (9) are known, than the potential φ and current density i on the overall
surface of the concrete and steel can be determined 8).
Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008
INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

INVERSE ANALYSIS

Inverse analysis method could be used to solve the corrosion identification problem such
as corrosion of steel in concrete.
The inverse problem is carried out by minimizing the cost-function, ε in
Equation (12). The cost function is a residual between the calculated and measured
potential values at some locations on the concrete surface as given in the following
equation:

2
N ⎡⎛ φ − φˆl ⎞⎤
ε ( x) = ∑ ⎢⎜⎜ l ⎟⎥

(12)
⎢⎝ φˆMax
l =1 ⎣ ⎠⎦⎥

Where x is the estimated corrosion location, N is the number of measurements potential


value that are used in the inverse analysis. The φ and φˆ are the calculated and
measurement of potential that are obtained by direct boundary element calculation,
respectively. φˆMax are the highest potential value among N potential data. The calculated
values of potential are obtained by solving the Laplace’s equation using boundary
element method (BEM).

EXPERIMENT

For the purpose of carrying out the inverse analysis, an experiment using a prismatic
concrete block with embedded steel was performed. To study the corrosion location of
the embedded steel in concrete, a model of concrete specimen shown in Figure 1 (b) was
considered. The specimen size was 50x10x10 cm. An embedded steel, 1 cm in diameter
and 52 cm length, was cast in concrete. A single corroded area (2 cm in length) was exist
on the reinforcing steel and located at x=13 cm from the left-end of the concrete
specimen.
By using half-cell potential technique, eight potential data were measured on the
concrete surface along with the reinforced concrete direction. Table 1 shows the
measured potentials data on the concrete surface.

EXAMPLE OF INVERSE ANALYSIS

The inverse analysis was carried out for determining the corrosion location of the
concrete by using only eight potential data which measured on the concrete surface
given in Table 1.
In boundary element calculation, the surfaces of the concrete and steel were
discretized into 192 elements. For carrying out the inverse analysis, at first one location
of the corrosion location should be initialized. First, a single corroded area (2 cm in
length) was estimated exist at x=11 cm from the left-end of the concrete specimen.
Then, the cost function was calculated. It was repeated for estimated corrosion location
at x=13, 15 and 17 cm. Table 2 shows the cost function for each estimated location of
corrosion.
Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008
INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

The cost function for each predicted location of corrosion was plotted in Figure 2.
The figure shows that the corrosion of reinforced concrete have been occurred at
location x=13 cm. It is the same with the prescribed corrosion location in the
experiment. Therefore, the location of corrosion in the concrete structure can be detected
precisely using the proposed method.
To evaluate the validity of the estimated result of the corrosion location of the
concrete, the obtained corrosion location was used in direct boundary element method
for recalculating the potential distribution at several locations on the surface of the
concrete specimen that the same with the measured potential location in experiment.
Table 3 gives the potential result from direct boundary element method. The potential
data distribution as a result from direct boundary element on the concrete surface is
shown in Figure 3(a). Meanwhile, Figure 3(b) plots the comparison of calculated and
measured potential data. The result indicates that the calculated potential distribution on
the concrete surface was in good agreement with the experimental data and the
percentage error was not more than 0.03 %.

CONCLUSIONS

A boundary element inverse analysis was developed to estimated corrosion location of


concrete with embedded steel from potential data which were measured on the concrete
surface. The inverse analysis was carried out by minimizing the cost function. The cost
function is a residual between the calculated and measured values of the potentials on
the concrete surface. By combining 3D boundary element method and inverse analysis,
corrosion location of the example case was detected in good agreement compare to the
experiment data. Since the location of corrosion was detected by mean minimizing the
cost function manually in the current work. Therefore, in future, we can apply the
optimize method such as Downhill simplex method to improve the proposed inverse
analysis.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank ExxonMobil Malaysia that sponsored the project.
Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008
INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

REFERENCES

1. Broomfield, J. P. 1998. Corrosion of Steel in Concrete - Understanding,


Investigation and Repair, E & FN Spon, London.
2. Anonymous 2002. Cost of Corrosion Study Unveiled, A Supplement to Material
Performance, NACE Int’l, July 2002: 2-5.
3. Anonymous 2000, Half-Cell Potential Surveys of Reinforced Concrete Structures,
Concrete, July/August, pp. 43-45.
4. Ping Gu and Beaudoin, J.J. 1998, Obtaining Effective Half-Cell Potential
Measuremens in Reinforced Concrete Structures, Construction Technology Update
No. 18.
5. Thirumalai Parthiban, Ravi, R. & Parthiban, G.T., Potential Monitoring System for
Corrosion of Steel in Concrete,Advance in Engineering Software 37, 2006, pp. 375-
381.
6. M.G. Fontana, N.D. Greene, Corrosion Engineering, 2nd Ed. McGraw-Hill
International, 1988, pp.45-48.
7. Brebia, C.A., the Boundary Element Technique in Engineering, Newnes-
Butterworths, London, 1980.
8. Aoki, S., Amaya, K. & Miyasaka, M., Boundary Element Analysis on Corrosion
Problems, Shokabo, Tokyo. 1998.
9. K. Amaya and S. Aoki, Effective Boundary Element Methods in Corrosion
Analysis, Engineering Analysis with Boundary Element 27, 2003, pp. 507-519.
10. Ridha, M., Inverse Analysis Methods for Identifying Corrosion of Reinforced
Concrete Using Boundary Element Method, Doctoral Thesis, Tokyo Institute of
Technology. 2002.
Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008
INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

Table 1 Measurement data of potential on the concrete surface specimen.


Number of data x (cm) φˆ (mV)
1 5 258.86
2 7 264.74
3 9 273.23
4 11 275.63
5 13 276.23
6 15 274.40
7 17 266.79
8 19 261.21

Table 2 Result of the inverse analysis


Corrosion location
Cost
No from the left-end of the
Function
concrete specimen.
1 10 to 12 cm 1.37 x 10-2
2 12 to 14 cm 5.54 x 10-8
3 14 to 16 cm 1.67 x 10-2
4 16 to 18 cm 2.98 x 10-2

Table 3 Calculation data of potential on the concrete surface specimen.


Number of φ (mV)
x (cm)
data
1 5 258.85
2 7 264.73
3 9 273.21
4 11 275.61
5 13 276.21
6 15 274.38
7 17 266.78
8 19 261.20
Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008
INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

Figure 1. (a) Boundary condition (b) Schematic of half-cell potential technique

Figure 2. The cost function for every estimated corrosion location


Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008
INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

Figure 3. (a) Calculated potential distribution on the concrete surface. (b) The
comparison of calculated and measured potentials on the concrete surface.